and Kevin G. Murphy & Associates
Is your infant having trouble breastfeeding, or is your child having difficulties speaking clearly? Do you sometimes have a hard time moving your tongue as freely as you should? If so, then you should visit our team here at Baltimore Dental Arts, where one of our in-house periodontists can determine if a lip or tongue-tie is present. This condition means there is an overdeveloped band of tissue in the mouth that is restricting the movement of the lips or tongue. Fortunately, we’re proud to offer fast, gentle frenectomies for freer movement. To see if this lip and tongue-tie treatment is right for you or your child, don’t hesitate to call us today to schedule a consultation!
Frenula are small layers of oral tissue that connect the tongue to the floor of the mouth and the upper and lower lips to the gums. Typically, the frenula help support the lips and tongue and aids in keeping them in place. However, if these bands of tissue naturally overdevelop and become too thick, they have the opposite effect and limit the movement of the lips and tongue. Naturally, tongue-tie concerns the frenula by the tongue and lip-tie is concerned with the frenula by the lips. While they are two separate conditions, they can appear together.
Not all cases of lip or tongue-tie need to be treated. In some cases where the condition is mild, the tie can correct itself as a child continues to grow. However, more severe and noticeable ties can cause serious problems for patients of all ages. Typically, lip or tongue-tie is warranted if it causes:
If you are concerned about lip or tongue-tie, we will first perform an examination to identify its severity. We’ll consider your health and medical history carefully before determining if we recommend moving forward with a frenectomy.
The most common way to address lip-tie or tongue-tie is with a quick and simple procedure called a frenectomy. This procedure is virtually the same for infants, children, and adults alike, and in all cases the treatment is fast and designed to be as comfortable as possible. First, we’ll numb the area of the mouth with a local anesthetic. Then, we’ll use our state-of-the-art soft tissue laser to remove the excess tissue. This advanced technology is extremely precise, which is ideal for minimizing discomfort and speeding up the healing process.
Lip and tongue ties can have a significant impact on oral function and overall well-being. Whether you're a parent seeking information for your child or an adult dealing with these issues yourself, our team at Baltimore Dental Arts is here to provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need! We’re dedicated to helping you make informed decisions, which is why we’ve decided to answer some frequently asked questions below. Should you not find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Not at all! In fact, laser frenectomies involve very little discomfort. Most patients don’t even need a local anesthetic for numbing. The precise soft laser only targets excess tissue, cauterizing it as it severs, helping reduce the amount of bleeding. It’s only when the tissue is especially thick that a local anesthetic might be necessary. However, our team will do everything we can to keep you as comfortable as possible.
It can be scary to think of your tiny baby undergoing lip or tongue-tie treatment. However, there is no age minimum for getting this procedure. It can even be performed a few days after birth! While the thought of your little one sitting in the treatment can make you uneasy, you should address the issue as soon as possible because a lip or tongue tie will not go away on its own. The sooner your child gets it done, the more quickly your baby can have improved oral function and breastfeeding.
The procedure usually only takes a handful of minutes, especially with a soft tissue laser. If the frenulum is especially thick, or if your child is having both a lip and tongue frenectomy, more time might be necessary. During your consultation, we’ll explain the details of the procedure and provide you with an estimated timeframe so you know what to expect.
Most parents or guardians are not allowed in the room during a frenectomy. Like many other dental services, a lip or tongue-tie treatment can be difficult to watch for some. If you’re squeamish or distressed, you will only distract our team, who need to focus exclusively on the patients. By keeping the room clear, we’re able to place all of our attention on the patient! Once we’re finished with the procedure, you can return to the room.